Here at Avionos, we meet on the last Thursday of every month to catch up on our progress, reconnect with our colleagues who have been heads down on project work, and have interesting folks in the digital marketing space come and visit us from time to time. We call this Fourth Thursday and since I’ve been here, it’s been a great way to promote a fun culture at Avionos and also sets us apart as great place to work.
During this month’s Fourth Thursday, we welcomed Rob Cressy, founder of Cress Media and Bacon Sports. Cress Media specializes in social media and content marketing and Bacon Sports is a passion project of Rob’s where he offers a funny and unique take on sports. Rob has been an entrepreneur for over 12 years and he shared some wonderful insights on how anyone can apply simple life hacks to help them live a more fun, happy, and rewarding life.
Rob gave us a lot of nuggets during his time with us, and here were some of the highlights:
- Get up early: Rob sets his alarm for 5:29 AM each morning and reads for about an hour. He says this helps him get in a positive mindset to start his day since he is reading something he enjoys instead of waking up and worrying about emails or meetings to start the day. Why the 5:29 AM alarm you ask? Rob doesn’t want to be like the rest of us who get up at a time that ends in a zero or a five. Very clever Rob!
- Entrepreneurship is glamorized in the media: When most people think of entrepreneurs, they imagine someone like Jordan Belfort from The Wolf of Wall Street. Most entrepreneurs aren’t living a lavish life traveling the world, dining at the best restaurants, and staying at five star resorts and hotels. It is a true grind. Rejections and failure are the norm, but with the right mindset, you can achieve success if you look at failures as an opportunity to learn. Most people often give up when success is right around the corner. Learn to love the grind and the good life will come to you in time.
- Choose to be happy: We don’t often realize how we let our emotions take control of us. When we choose to be happy and see things in a more positive frame of mind, it will be infectious and other people will notice. Rob says he goes through most days “always smiling”. Try for it a day. Choose to be happy, you’ll notice a different world around you when you do it.
- Stand out from the crowd: I’ve already mentioned Rob’s unique alarm, but he also has a few other tricks up his sleeve to stand out. He created his own penalty flag that he uses in social situations because its fun and cool. So if he’s out drinking and a friend spills his beer, that’s worthy of the flag being thrown. He has given away these flags to countless people and then asked them to document their uses for the flag. Not only is it funny, but it helps people remember Rob as that “fun guy with the penalty flag”.
- Find a mentor: I asked Rob about this as I’ve read that finding good mentors is key to advancing your personal brand and your passions. Rob recommends reaching out to anyone who is 5-10 years ahead of where you’d like to be in life. A good mentor will show you an actionable path towards good goal setting and true success. He or she will also be frank with you when needed. If you’re stuck on who to ask as a mentor, think of anyone you admire, regardless of whether they are very well known or not, and reach out. Contact as many people as possible. If you are creative and persistent, you will find some amazing mentors. Rob reached out to former ESPN personality Bill Simmons and was able to have him on a podcast recently. The impossible is possible if all you do is ask!
Finally, I’d like to share Rob’s recommended books. Reading is such a crucial aspect of solid personal development. I’ve always been an avid reader and have actually read a few of the books on Rob’s list. There’s quite a few here, and Rob recommends reading about topics that you enjoy. Every day that you read, you’re setting the foundation to have a better day than yesterday, because you acquire new knowledge you didn’t possess before. Also, its a great way to learn from the mistakes others have made, so you don’t have to repeat them!